Here are the studio photos that I had taken of the Rodback Settee. It is such a transformation to see it in the studio lighting!
Hopefully it's obvious why black was the wrong color for this piece. I am especially happy with the results of the curved stretchers. A little full scale drawing and a couple of forms and it wasn't as difficult as I had expected. A small design note, the curved stretchers enter the middle stretcher at about 2 degrees, just enough to keep the curve flowing.
It's interesting that the most comments that I've received in a while come on the heels of a milk paint posting. It just goes to show that the finish is not just a final step, but a make or break moment with some distinct perils due to the touchy nature of milk paint.
In answer to some of the questions. I stripped the settee to bare wood on all the parts except for those that I had previously scraped, which I simply rescraped (namely the tops of the arms and the seat). By repeatedly wiping hot water on the pieces, one section at a time, being very careful not to flood the joints, I was able to loosen the paint. Then I carefully washed the area down with a wet gray scotchbrite pad and then dried it thoroughly.
I am very concerned with the appearance of the pine seat, so I carefully scraped it to bare wood. It is important not to reduce the paint to a wet mess and then expect it to reharden into any solid finish, that is why I brought it all to bare wood (although with a slightly pinking tone from the red). I also wanted to avoid having any remnants showing through the translucent light green.
To mix my paint, I simply shook it up in a jar and added the anti foaming agent. From this jar, I poured a smaller amount into a cup and painted the settee. At the end of the day, I poured what was left in the cup back into the jar. The next day, I shook it up again, without stirring up the muck at the bottom, and once again poured it off into a small cup. It was nice that the muck stayed in the larger jar and the anti foaming agent took care of the bubbles. According to the Real Milk Co. web site, the anti foaming agent does help the particles dissipate into the paint, and from my small experience, this seems reasonably accurate.
Thanks for the questions, remember, when it comes to milk paint, we're all in this together!